THREE CALLS TO WHICH WE MUST RESPOND
In Matthew 13:10-17 Jesus talked about the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven and shared how that, as a result of Satan’s activity, many in the world remain blinded to the truth and deaf to the good news of the gospel so that they cannot understand the message of the Kingdom. Jesus also told about another group comprised of prophets and righteous people in centuries past who “desired to see” what you and I can see today, but they could not (v:17). The reason? God’s time to reveal Christ had not yet come.
To us who live in this dispensation of grace, the “mystery” has been revealed. It is the mystery of Christ crucified and risen again for our salvation. With that revelation, however, comes a responsibility. A responsibility to share the revealed mystery with others.
Through the centuries there have been great gains made for the Kingdom of Heaven. Starting with the apostles and the early church, obedient servants of Christ went everywhere to share the good news of Jesus. Throughout history, even during the dark ages between AD 500 and AD 1,000, committed followers of Jesus sacrificed greatly to take the message of salvation to the uttermost regions of the earth. People like William Carey, Hudson Taylor and David Livingstone were among those on the leading edge of modern-day missions. While the finish line is within sight, the task is not yet done! (Hab. 2:3) Jesus said, “This message of the kingdom MUST be preached in all the world, as a witness unto every nation, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
To do this, there are three calls to which every follower of Jesus must listen and somehow respond.
1. The call from ABOVE. Jesus has mandated us to “Go and preach the good news to everyone and disciple those who respond.” (Mark 16:15) He has called us to be fishers of men, light for the lost, and salt that influences others. This call from above still sounds clearly.
2. The call from BEYOND. In Acts 16:9-10 we read: “During the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After he had seen the vision, Paul records, “we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” The call from beyond still echoes for those with ears to hear. (Romans 10:11-15)
3. The call from BELOW. There is a moving story in the Bible about a rich man that found himself in hell. Try as he would there was no escape from it’s torment. Realizing his frightful plight the man looked up and saw Abraham on the other side of a great chasm, and pleaded with him to “Send Lazarus (a beggar he refused in life) to warn my brothers, that they come not to this place.” (Luke 16:19-31)
These calls – from the throne above; from the regions beyond; and from the place of the dammed below, must be heard and responded to. It has been those “calls” that have moved men and women of God for centuries to risk their lives and make every sacrifice, that Jesus Christ be known.
Making Jesus known is the privilege and the responsibility of every person who names the name of Christ. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)
The harvest is ripe and ready. (Matthew 9:35-38) Farmers know - there is no second chance to reap a ripe harvest. (John 9:4) “O Sovereign Lord – may the heat of my heart melt the lead in my feet.” Amen. (Luke 1:76-79)
Be blessed my friend.
Glen (Pitts) / The Barnabas Group (Loads of Love)
Isaiah 60:1-3; Philippines 3:12; I Corinthians 9:22-23; Romans 1:16; II Thessalonians 3:1